Tens of thousands of people in the Ottawa region are still without power on Tuesday morning as hydroelectric plants continue to repair work after Saturday’s massive storm.
Hydro Ottawa reported Tuesday morning that more than 76,000 were still without power, meaning crews connected another 10,000 customers overnight.
In total, Hydro Ottawa has restored power to approximately 105,000 customers.
More than three dozen roads are still impassable due to fallen trees and water pipes, Mayor Jim Watson said Tuesday morning. Residents are asked to stay off the road as much as possible. OC Transpo reports some diverted buses.
The city will open shelters from 10 a.m. Tuesday for people in need of electricity, water, food and shelter. You can view a full list here. Waste bins have also been set up at four locations for spoiled food, and the city is implementing a green waste bin to collect food waste. Many city services are closed on Tuesdays.
English public and Catholic schools are closed on Tuesday in Ottawa. French Catholic schools in Ottawa and Carleton Place are closed; others out of town are open. The French public administration has closed all but 11 schools.
Hydro Ottawa’s president and CEO estimated Monday evening that it will take another two to four days to reconnect most customers to the grid.
The extent of the damage is unlike any other disaster the city has seen, including the 1998 ice storm and 2018 tornadoes, Bryce Conrad said.
“In this case, we have the entire supply from the provincial grid, only our own distribution system has been crushed,” Conrad told a news conference. “We broke 187 poles. That’s more than we suffered in the ice storm, that’s more than we suffered in the tornadoes. Collectively, it’s more poles than we put down in a year.”
Hydro crews from New Brunswick are on site to assist Ottawa workers. Workers from Toronto and Kingston will arrive on Tuesday.
Including areas of eastern Ontario and western Quebec, approximately 150,000 customers are still without electricity.
At least nine people across Ontario were killed in the devastating storm on Saturday, including three in the Ottawa area.
Mayor Jim Watson said Tuesday morning that the cost of the cleanup will run into the millions of dollars, including the cost of bringing in hundreds of employees over a long weekend, compensating other jurisdictions for their resources and running the respite centers.
“We don’t have an estimate at this point,” he told CTV Morning Live on Tuesday. “But we are not in the business of shelling out for an emergency like this. We need to make sure we get as many resources as possible to help people as soon as possible, because their lives are turned upside down.”